ESPN Apocalypse is today


And since it’s that time of the quarter…



Wow. Meanwhile. in Canada at TSN and Sportsnet, things aren’t so bad.


They’re not collapsing under the weight of ESPN’s Monday Night Football contract.


Is it Monday Night Football, or is the real problem that there was WAY too much money sent towards the NBA?

Whatever the case, if you are dumb enough to spend money like that, I have a hard time feeling sorry for you. Just saying “no” is an option.

I don’t think it likely the NBA will ever get a deal the last one again. Which means the next generation of basketball stars will be in for an eye-opening moment when the current deal runs out.


It’s the rights for all major sports. These layoffs are literally a drop in the bucket compared to the the billions being directed toward the NFL, MLB, NBA, collegiate athletic conferences, etc.


Yep, the sands have shifted underneath the feet of ESPN’s carriage fee model, and they don’t have a sub-net of regional sports networks to help them amortize those billions in rights like Fox does.


It is the ridiculous rights they paid plus the failure to get any kind of exclusivity. Face it, MLB can be seen any day of the week somewhere now, same with the NBA. And while the games on MNF are supposed to be better this year I don’t think people look forward to it anymore like they used to.


The marquee game is now on Sunday night.

For me it used to be I’d watch one game most Sundays and then MNF was a bigger deal. Now you have Thursday, three games on Sunday, and MNF. It’s too much.


Yea always felt NBC got a far better deal. They pay less for SNF which still gets good ratings and they get the “flex” scheduling later in the year so they don’t get stuck with crap games like ESPN does.


The story of that negotiation was told in Those Guys Have All The Fun. Notoriously cheap ESPN/Disney thought they would lowball the NFL for the Sunday night package, figuring nobody else wanted it. They were wrong, NBC met the NFL’s price and got the scheduling perks as part of the deal. Then, ESPN was left with paying a premium price for the Monday night package or being out of the NFL business (and losing the ability to show game clips in their broadcasts). They paid the asking price. Trying to game the NFL didn’t work and lost them a bunch of cash and quality scheduling.


Man I love the reaction Chris Berman had when he realized that the deal would be the end of the NFL Primetime show.


The thing is that NBC got burned big time when they lost the AFC rights to CBS the previous time the rights were available. NBC didn’t want to pay the money, which they felt was too expensive. What they stupidly didn’t realize is that the NFL games are also a great way to promote the shows on your network.

It’s no coincidence that when NBC had the rights, they were #1 network and CBS was last place. Then CBS got the NFL and they became the #1 network and NBC slid to last.

So when the rights came up again, NBC was prepared to pay to get football back.


I’ve never heard that theory before. So you’re saying the success of Thursday’s Must See TV line up during the 90s (Seinfeld, Friends, Mad About You, ER, etc) was partially because of Football?


I don’t think you can go that far. But watch a game and see how the network promotes itself. The World Series in baseball has really become a series of self promotions. There was at least one inning of each game played in LA where the cameras showed the various “stars” in the stands, many of whom just happened to be connected to Fox in some way.


No, but the TV of the 90s was pre-Web, pre-streaming, and pre cord-cutting. While it wasn’t quite the 4 channel universe of the 60s and 70s, it was a lot closer to it than it is to today’s channel 500+ channel universe.

So people engaged in “appointment TV”, many subscribed to TV Guide and they otherwise knew “what was on” to a much higher degree then than now.

Fast forward 20-25 years, far fewer people know what’s on. They have hundreds of channels to choose from, if they even bother. Many have cut the cord and ,any of those who did not don’t engage with channels and network programming line-ups like they used to,

Just creating AWARENESS of your network show’s existence - let alone persuading people to watch it, is a FAR more difficult task now than it was in pre-Internet days. So in that sense, promotion of your shows during a popular live sports telecast is important.


Just watch how many treacly This is Us promos that NBC runs during a game.

hint: It’s a lot.


I’m surprised the networks aren’t making a comeback due to cord-cutting. Antennas are cheap, they work most places, and they don’t carry a monthly fee.

That said, I don’t think millenials even know about antennas.


Millennials would rather binge Netflix. Network is sort of the worst of all worlds. Not only do you have to wait a week at a time, but then there are 17 minutes of commercials each hour, too. Even fast-forwarding through those, OMG.


The company says the layoffs, which were announced Wednesday morning in a memo to employees, don’t include on-air talent and will have a minimal impact on the network’s signature SportsCenter news program.

”The majority of the jobs eliminated are in studio production, digital content, and technology and they generally reflect decisions to do less in certain instances and re-direct resources,” ESPN president John Skipper wrote in memo. ”We will continue to invest in ways which will best position us to serve the modern sports fan and support the success of our business.”

Anybody want to lay odds on whether the person in charge of selecting feminist poetry to post on the SheSPN website (or whatever the heck it’s called) still has a job? My money’s on continued employment.


Is that really a thing? That sounds interesting.

Ok, google search found it. It looks like it was something for a solitary article. They do have a lifestyle and culture section at that site too. Kind of cool ESPN is doing something like that.